Elon Musk shows off the first production Tesla Model 3

It's a moment hundreds of thousands of drivers have been waiting for: a sight of the first production model Tesla Model 3. Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted out (opens in new tab) a picture of the electric car over the weekend, and is apparently in line to have it delivered straight to his own garage.

Now it's time to start fulfilling all those preorders - Musk says production will rise to 100 cars in August, 1,500 in September and 20,000 by December. Tesla is planning a launch party on July 28 to hand over the first 30 Tesla Model 3s to head out into the wild.

With more than 400,000 people reportedly in line for a Tesla Model 3, the company's factories should be kept busy over the months and years ahead. The first production model has actually arrived ahead of schedule, but getting up to half a million cars out the door is a serious challenge even for Tesla.

 The cheapest Tesla yet 

If you've missed all the Tesla Model 3 news up to this point, this is Tesla's stab at a more affordable electric vehicle. Costing $35,000 in the US, it's around a third of the price of its predecessor, the Model S, making the tech accessible to a much larger group of people.

Fitted with 2,170 lithium-ion battery cells made with the help of some Panasonic expertise, the Model 3 can travel 215 miles on a single charge, so drivers won't always have to be worrying where the nearest charging station is. It's no slouch either, and can go from zero to 60mph in a mere 5.3 seconds.

The new car also comes with Tesla's self-driving Autopilot technology on board, so you can get extra help changing lanes, avoiding smashes, and generally being a respectable citizen of the road. Activating it costs a little extra on top of the base price, though.

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.